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May 12, 2007

Street Sense captures 133rd Kentucky Derby


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Post-time favorite Street Sense caught Hard Spun in mid-stretch on his way to winning the 133rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. The victory is the second for trainer Carl Nafzger in the Run for the Roses.

With more than 100,000 spectators, including Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh watching, Street Sense became the first winner of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile to win the Kentucky Derby. The colt is also the first champion juvenile to claim victory since Spectacular Bid won the Run for the Roses in 1979.

Incredibly, Street Sense, ridden by Calvin Borel, was in 19th place at the half-mile pole before rallying.

"He's the best three-year-old I've ever been on in my life," Borel said. "He's the kind of horse, he'll do anything for you. He's very push-button. He'll put you in a spot where you want to be at any time and then relax."

Lane's End Stakes winner Hard Spun was allowed to set the pace in the 1 1/4 mile race. He was closely followed by Cowtown Cat, Teuflesberg and Stormello. Street Sense settled well off the pace along rail.

With Mario Pino in the saddle, Hard Spun continued on the lead up the backstretch with Cowtown Cat and Sedgefield stalking him. Street Sense remained on the rail heading into the far turn as Hard Spun looked tough to catch.

Street Sense never needed to get off the rail until just before he found Hard Spun. He caught Hard Spun with a furlong to run and went on to post a 2 1/4 length victory. Hard Spun was second with morning line favorite Curlin finishing third and Imawildandcrazyguy fourth in the 20-horse field.

The time for the Kentucky Derby was 2:02.17 on a track listed as good.

Completing the order of finish was Sedgefield, Circular Quay, Tiago, Any Given Saturday, Sam P., Nobiz Like Shobiz, Dominican, Zanjero, Great Hunter, Liquidity, Bwana Bull, Storm in May, Teuflesberg, Scat Daddy, Stormello and Cowtown Cat.

Owned by James Tafel, Street Sense collects $1.45 million for the win to bring his career earnings to more than $2.95 million. The three-year-old has won four of eight lifetime races. He can become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed in 1978.

"This is the epitome of anybody in the horse business or racing career is to have a horse that's won a Kentucky Derby," Tafel said. "Earlier this year, matter of fact, last year, Carl said, 'Jim, we're going to win the Kentucky Derby.' Partner, you made it come true."

Nafzger won the Kentucky Derby in 1990 with Unbridled and now has two weeks to preapre Street Sense for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico in Baltimore. The final jewel in the Tripele Crown is the Belmont Stakes on June 9 at Belmont Park.

"This horse has never ran a bad race," Nafzger said. "He's done everything he's supposed to. Like I said earlier, and I mean seriously, this horse took us here. Not only did he take us here, he took us here today. I've got all the faith in the world in this horse and I can't say enough about him."

This year Street Sense used just two prep races to get ready for the first Saturday in May. He won the Tampa Bay Derby by a nose over Any Given Saturday and then lost the Blue Grass Stakes by a nose to Dominican.

Street Sense returned $11.80, $6.40 and $4.60. Hard Spun paid $9.80 and $7.00, and Curlin paid $5.60 for show.

Trainer Todd Pletcher had five horses entered in the race, seeking his first Kentucky Derby win. Louisiana Derby winner Circular Quay had the best finish in sixth place. Any Given Saturday was eighth, Sam P. ninth, Scat Daddy 18th, and Cowtown Cat finished 20th.

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